Building Positive Habits Can Help Build Your Confidence And Willpower

Aug 06, 2022

Building positive habits can help build your confidence and willpower

⁠(Photo by Maria Orlova)

Most of us could use a little more confidence and self-esteem. Building habits can help, but starting them can feel like a huge undertaking. 

Are you ever overwhelmed thinking about the things in your life that you wish were different? Things like: "I should exercise more." "I should get more sleep." "I should eat more healthy." How are you supposed to know where to start?

The key to change

A keystone is the triangular stone at the top of an arch that holds the structure together. In his book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg talks about the idea of a "keystone habit." Building up one strong habit so it becomes the strength for other positive habits. There is a noticeable cascading effect when we focus on one habit, others benefit.

What should you work on first?

You may feel as if you don't know where to start. The truth is, anywhere is a good place. There is an interconnectedness between sleep, exercise, diet, self care, personal relationships, and more. 

Let's say you want to improve your sleep habits. Regular exercise can help you to get better, more consistent sleep. A consistent sleep schedule of at least 7 hours per night can lead to higher levels of willpower. Stronger willpower makes it easier to commit to your workout schedule and choose healthy meals. By choosing healthy meals you'll have more energy for the day. 

This is the cascading effect that a keystone habit has. It's amazing how all these things relate. By committing to one habit, you can have a positive impact on your whole life. It can be especially helpful to pair a new habit with an established habit.[232] Like drinking water after you go to the restroom or journaling during your lunch break. 

When do you start to feel better?

Self-esteem and confidence come when you make decisions. Decisions that get you closer to your goal of living and feeling better. Every time you work towards your keystone habit, you should celebrate that victory. Every time you have a glass of water instead of a soda, or work out when you don't feel like it, or stick to your sleep schedule.

You may or may not have heard the "fact" that it takes 21 days to build a habit. But the truth is, it can take anywhere from 18-254 days.[231] So don't get discouraged if it takes a while.

It's the small things in life that make the difference. Every little win that you rack up increases your feeling of self worth. "I did something for ME today."

Don't give up. Give yourself credit for trying.

You will likely forget sometimes, it's normal to have setbacks when starting a new habit. The important thing is to be nice to yourself and give yourself credit for trying.

Setting small achievable goals for yourself will make it easier. As you get used to overcoming obstacles, you can set larger goals with small steps. Celebrate wins, but try to also look at setbacks as a new opportunity to learn and grow. Putting a positive spin on a situation that hurts and is disappointing is easier said than done. This will also take practice.

Write your goals down on a piece of paper and hang it up somewhere you'll see it every day. The act of writing something down not only increases your ability to remember it, but also acts as a commitment.[133] If you write an intention, you are more likely to achieve that goal.

Don't give up, and don't let small failures keep you from trying again.

Continue Your Journey